The IFCBAA (International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia) National Conference is usually a big feature on the CPD calendar for Forwarders and Brokers alike. But after a few years of Covid restrictions stopping the yearly conference from going ahead, it was clear that the industry wanted to return to Gold Coast to get in some learning and I guess to see other people face to face again!
This year seemed to have a bigger focus on digital supply chains and tools and IT, new tech in logistics, cyber security, modernisation, global initiatives, HR & training the next generation of industry professionals with even a focus on the importance of mental health & resilience post-pandemic.
The Ocean Cargo Forum Panel Discussion – slated to cover Challenges and Opportunities for Freight Forwarders/Customs Brokers was always going to be a little bit of a spicy affair as Forwarders and Brokers wanted to here directly from shipping lines about current pain points and issues such as container detention. The panelists: Peter Creeden, MPC Intl (former MD, Hamburg Sud), Eddy Declercq, OOCL Australia & Lance Evans, Mac-nels Evans answered as many questions as possible and were very upfront and honest about their stances and the reasons they operate their businesses.
The main takeaway was that we are now living in a changed world, possibly forever, so we need to adapt accordingly, lest you become obsolete.
We can’t forget the social side of the conference, the Friday night Welcome Cocktail Function was something else, where we were entertained by IFCBAA Regional Manager Zoran giving some belly dancing a red hot crack! Of course the Gala Dinner & Awards Night did not disappoint where everyone got dressed up and WA’s own Jason Mesiti (who trained to be a broker at EES many years ago) won the regional award for commitment to the industry – well done Jason!
Thanks to all the sponsors and IFCBAA for putting on a great weekend